Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi had his best game as a member of the black and gold last Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The summer signee notched four tackles, one tackle for a loss and two quarterback hits on Tom Brady to help keep the Bucs’ offense from taking over the game.
On his weekly show, The Mike Tomlin Show, posted to the team’s YouTube channel, Bob Pompeani asked the Steelers’ head coach what he thought of Ogunjobi’s play.
“He was a real force inside, but to be quite honest with you, we needed him to be” said Tomlin. “You’re not gonna get to Tom [Brady] through the blitz game and oftentimes things off the edge. His pocket presence is too good”
The interior defensive line pressure caused Brady to struggle throughout the game, with Ogunjobi and defensive captain Cam Heyward leading the charge. Pittsburgh only managed to total two sacks on the 45-year-old quarterback, with Heyward recording one of them, but the defensive line did not let Brady have much time to sit in the pocket. Ogunjobi and Heyward consistently pushed Tampa Bay’s offensive line right into the lap of Brady, causing him to rush throws and slightly underthrow his receivers all game long.
With T.J. Watt out for a few more weeks, Mike Tomlin will need to rely on his interior defensive line moving forward. Of course, he knows what he has with Cam Heyward, but for the Steelers to stay in the playoff hunt, Ogunjobi needs to play at this level consistently.
Last season, Ogunjobi had an incredible year where he notched seven sacks and twelve quarterback hits, which led to him originally signing a three-year contract worth $40.5 million with the Chicago Bears, but a failed physical led to the Bears backing out of the deal.
Now a member of the Steelers on a one-year “prove it” deal, Ogunjobi is looking to get his market value up again. He has a great chance to do this on national television tomorrow, as it will be his job to make Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa uncomfortable in his first game back after missing two games due to a concussion.
Just like last week against the Bucs, the Steelers’ chances of victory will hinge strongly on the play of the interior defensive line. The good news for Pittsburgh is that it certainly has the talent in that area.